I remember thinking back to when Jessica and I were considering in having a child. It was one of the first real decisions I’ve ever experienced in my life where it gets you thinking about the long term. Of course buying a house and marriage have some of that thought process, but bringing a life into this world (and the responsibility it invokes) is something else entirely.

I remember feeling that I wasn’t 100 percent ready. That if I could just have one more year to get my finances in better shape and to be further along in my career that then I would be prepared. Problem was, this was the exact same thing I was thinking a year previously.

Knowing that I wasn’t getting any younger and that, while not perfect, we were in a decent position to have a child financially, I finally felt swayed (with the encouragement of my wife, of course.)

With that our little lady was conceived leading to a roller coaster of emotions. I was so happy to know that what I really wanted in my life – a child of my own to love, care for, and raise – was on the way, I was terrified as well. I was the one responsible for providing for our little family. Was it enough? Did I have the stability and support I needed? Could I carve out enough time to actually be home and support my wife physically and emotionally in the way I wanted? There were so many unanswerable questions.

But I was glad to dive in. Holding little Sammy for the first time made me forget about all my worries and filled my heart with so much love and desire to be the best father I could be. My outlook has changed on life. I’ve found myself to be much less worried about money and moving up in my career and a lot more focused on a balance. I want to be the dad who is available, present, and dependable. I want to be a good family man.

The journey is hard and I find myself fighting with my old ideals, sometimes on a daily basis, but it gets better. Keep focused on that 5 year plan and be there for your family in every way you can.

Hello, I’m a dad and I’m doing my best.